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Communist Party of Australia (revived)

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Communist Party of Australia (revived)

This article is about the current Communist Party of Australia. For the historical party, see Communist Party of Australia
Communist Party of Australia
Leader Hannah Middleton
President Vinicio Molina
Founder Pat Clancy and Peter Symon
Founded 1971
Headquarters Surry Hills, New South Wales
Ideology Communism,
Marxism–Leninism
Colours Red
New South Wales Local Government
Website
Politics of Australia
Political parties
Elections

The Communist Party of Australia is a minor political party in Australia. It was founded as the Socialist Party of Australia (SPA) in 1971, when a group of members of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) resigned or were expelled from that party as a result of their opposition to its policies. They took the view that the CPA should not become a left social-democratic party, and should continue as a Marxist-Leninist party. This position put them at odds with the CPA leadership. The CPA leadership had become increasingly critical of the Soviet Union, particularly over the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. The SPA was led by a group of veteran trade union officials such as Pat Clancy and Peter Symon.

Pat Clancy resigned from the party in 1983.[1]

Peter Symon was the general secretary of the Socialist Party (currently, the Communist Party) from its formation in 1972 until his death in December 2008, a total of 36 years. After Symon's death, the president of the Communist Party, Dr Hannah Middleton, was announced by the Party Central Committee to be the new Communist Party general secretary. Vinicio Molina succeeded Dr Middleton as the party president. Dr Middleton was elected to the position of Communist Party General Secretary by the 11th Party National Congress in October 2009.[2][3]

In the last 37 years of the party's existence, the party has been mainly a left wing political party has played a limited role in Australia's trade union movement. The party's main policies are:

  • The socialist reconstruction of the Australian society
  • An end to privatisations of assets owned by the federal and state governments
  • To free Australia from foreign transnationals
  • Regulation by the Federal Government of prices, profit levels, and interest rates
  • The abolition of the Goods and Services Tax
  • Expansion of the public sector
  • Increase in the national minimum wage
  • Increase in pension, unemployment benefits
  • Reduction of the working week
  • Halt reductions in tariffs
  • Reduction of military spending

The old CPA was dissolved in 1991. The SPA, believing itself to be the rightful successor to the original CPA formed in 1920, changed its name to Communist Party of Australia at its 8th National Congress in October 1996. Michael Perth contested the seat of Port Adelaide, in 1998 and 2001, the only lower house seats contested by the party in the recent past, but polled less than 1% of the vote in both cases.

The revived CPA remains a traditional, albeit small, Communist Party, proclaiming itself to be a Marxist-Leninist party whose ultimate objective is the revolutionary transformation of Australian society and the establishment of socialism in Australia. It describes its objective as being to "change the direction of politics in Australia and eventually, to replace the capitalist system with a socialist one."[4]

At the Australian federal election, 2010 the party contested the Lower House seat of Sydney as part of the Communist Alliance. The party received 0.83% or 656 of the 79,377 votes cast.[5] It also contested two candidates for the New South Wales division of the Federal Senate, receiving 0.17% or 6,999 of the 4,333,267 votes cast.[6] The Australian Electoral Commission deregistered Communist Alliance on 22 May 2012.[7]

The Communist Party of Australia's (CPA) received its first electoral win with the election of Tony Oldfield to Auburn Council in the NSW local government elections on September 8, 2012.[8]

References

External links

  • Communist Party of Australia website
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